On behalf of a great team of nano researchers who are part of this exciting project, I am pleased to introduce to the scientific community a comprehensive ten volume series on Nanotechnologies for the Life Sciences (NtLS), which is going to be a knowledge base of encyclopedic proportions, however with a strongly practical approach, for applications of nanotechnologies in biology, biotechnology and medicine. This is a unique series of books on an important facet of nanotechnology, being presented by nanotechnologists for nanotechnologists.
I am very grateful to all the authors who shared my enthusiasm and vision by contributing high quality manuscripts, on time, keeping in tune with the original design and theme of the respective volumes and also the whole series. These books would not be coming into existence but for their dedication, perseverance and sacrifice.
As I stop for a moment and ponder at the amount of information that this dedicated team of scientists are compiling for this ten volume series, I cannot help but become philosophical. Scientific endeavors by their very nature, while providing answers to several questions, create more and more questions. If one examines the growth of various scientific disciplines one would realize that while we made tremendous progress in scientific achievements, we continue to be puzzled by several unanswered questions in addition to several more new ones popping up every day.
In the words of one philosopher, "the measure of our intellectual maturity is our capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems." One could say that the progress in science is directly proportional to the number of unsolved problems. It is pertinent to remember what Einstein once said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." What we need as scientists is lateral thinking. In order for developing lateral thinking one needs to comprehend the existing knowledge and develop the ability to connect seemingly unconnected points in the web of knowledge.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology is beginning to gain respectable place in this web of knowledge that we scientists have been creating. This new scientific discipline is being touted as the greatest revolution in the history of mankind and is anticipated to positively affect every facet of our existence. It is anticipated to improve quality of our life in leaps and bounds.
However, Nanotechnology's greatest gift to mankind, in my view, is its ability to promote lateral thinking amongst not only scientists, but all those who are associated with this new approach to problem solving. This is what I would like to call "nano vision or nano thinking". It is the ability to think small while thinking big and to connect small and big at the same time. The followers of "nano thinking", so called "nano thinkers", are growing day by day and their presence is beginning to be felt strongly in the field of life sciences. It is my endeavor to be a catalyst in inducing this new thinking by providing a multi-pronged base of knowledge in nanotechnologies for the life sciences. The ten volume series NtLS is anticipated to be the solid foundation for all those who are interested in applying "nano thinking" in life sciences.
In this context, I would like to share a quotation from one of the greatest thinkers from the United States of America, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." It is my hope that this book series will help in stretching the limits of thinking in all those who come in contact with it.
Challa S. S. R. Kumar